In 2009, Steelcase set out to discover if their Leap chair could cause a “leap” in productivity for workers. The company collaborated with the University of Texas in a yearlong study involving a total of 450 employees at two different workplaces. They compared the productivity and well-being of a control group with that of employees who received ergonomics training only and those who received training and a Leap chair. In fall of 2010, Steelcase published the results in a 360 whitepaper.
Health metrics used in the study centered on discomfort or pain as reported subjectively by participants. However, productivity was measured objectively since the industries involved could track performance by documenting completion of specific work tasks. The two companies reported improvements in productivity between 8-18% for workers equipped with Leap seating. The other groups showed little or no improvement. So, it appears that selecting comfortable, ergonomic office chairs could really pay off.